Halfacre named Executive Director of NJ Beer Wholesalers Association

Michael I. Halfacre

Michael I. Halfacre

Michael I. Halfacre, the former Director of the NJ Division Alcoholic Beverage Control, has been named the Executive Director of the Beer Wholesalers Association of New Jersey, effective January 4, 2016.  He will remain Of Counsel to Genova Burns, the law firm he joined upon leaving the ABC last summer.  Halfacre is replacing Robert J. Pinard, who is retiring after directing the trade association since 1992.

“Michael Halfacre brings an outstanding record as a legal professional, as well as his regulatory background, that will be vital to leading the Beer Wholesalers Association of New Jersey,” said Mark Kramer, President of Kramer Beverage and Chairman of the associations Executive Committee.

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Posted: December 22nd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: ABC, Fair Haven, Mike Halfacre, Monmouth County, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Halfacre Joins Genova Burns


Michael Halfacre

Michael Halfacre, the former Mayor of Fair Haven, and as of this morning the former Director of the New Jersey Division of Alcohol Beverage Control, has joined the prestigious law firm of Genova Burns as Counsel.

Working from the firm’s Red Bank office, Halfacre will be a member of the Commercial Real Estate & Redevelopment and Business Law & Commercial Transactions Practice Groups.  He will also be available for consultation to the Firm’s Craft Beer, Spirits & Alcohol Law Practice Group.

Michael’s experience running the ABC these past three years makes him an excellent choice to offer counsel to the Firm’s newly formed Craft Beer, Spirits & Alcohol Law practice group,” said Managing Partner Brian W. Kronick. “Moreover, during his many years in private practice prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office he was highly regarded for his representation of clients in business transactional work and particularly in real estate leasing and transactions. He brings those skills and strategic abilities to the Firm as well.”

In his private practice, Halfacre specialized in transactions, including sales and refinance of commercial real estate and transfers of ABC licenses.

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Posted: July 1st, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, Fair Haven, Mike Halfacre, Monmouth County, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Halfacre Joins Genova Burns

The Arnone Report: Share the roads with cyclists and pedestrians

Setting  the record straight on proposed Two Rivers bike lanes

By Tom Arnone, Monmouth County Freeholder

Freeholder Tom Arone

Freeholder Tom Arone

Now that summer is here, the kids are out of school and the beaches are open. We know a few things are certain while living in our beautiful Monmouth County – sand will find its way into the house, barbeques will be plentiful and many of us will give in to ice cream cravings on the boardwalk. As residents we will also witness a significant increase to our population as our tourism season gets into full swing.  With this population surge, we will also see an increase in cyclists and pedestrians sharing the roads with motorists throughout the county.

I urge you to be aware of the statewide “rules of the road” and other specific rules in your municipality for whatever mode of transportation you choose. This is especially important when traveling on primary and secondary roads that are highly used, like those without designated bike lanes or sidewalks.  It is extremely important for all of us to be diligent when sharing roads so they are safe for all users– pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists – as safe travel for all is of the utmost importance.

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Posted: June 29th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Fair Haven, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County News, News, Rumson, Tom Arnone | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Arnone Report: Share the roads with cyclists and pedestrians

Halfacre Leaving The Christie Administration

Michael Halfacre

Michael Halfacre

Michael Halfacre submitted his resignation as Director of the New Jersey Division of Alcohol Beverage Control to Acting Attorney General John Hoffman yesterday, effective June 30,2015.

Under Halfacre’s leadership since March of 2012, the ABC is credited with cracking down on underage drinking, the sale of alcohol to the already intoxicated, and penalizing establishments that were scamming consumers by “drink substitution,” i.e. charging customers for the “top shelf” drinks they ordered while actually serving cheaper booze.

During Halfacre’s tenure, new laws were implemented for the brewing and distilling industry which have lead to an emerging micro brewing industry.  Additionally, new rules were written to regulate the direct sale of wine to consumers by out-of-state wineries.

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Posted: May 22nd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Christie Administration, Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, Fair Haven, Mike Halfacre, Monmouth County, Monmouth County News, New Jersey | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Fair Haven Councilman Dies From Injuries Sustained In Bicycling Accident

Jerome KochFair Haven Councilman Jerome Koch passed away Sunday from injuries sustained in a bicycling accident on Saturday.

Mayor Benjamin Lucarelli issue the following statement on facebook :

“On behalf of the entire Fair Haven Community, I extend my deepest sympathy to the family of Councilman Jerome Koch, who passed away on Sunday evening from injuries he sustained after being struck by a car on River Road in Fair Haven late Saturday afternoon. Councilman Koch was a dedicated public servant who served the residents of Fair Haven for nine years as a member of our Borough Council. More importantly, Jerome was a husband, father, and grandfather, who was dearly loved his by his family. His passing is tragic and he will be missed by all who knew and loved him. We send our best thoughts, prayers, and support, to his family during this time of mourning.”

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Posted: November 30th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Fair Haven, Monmouth County | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Fair Haven Councilman Dies From Injuries Sustained In Bicycling Accident



Two Rumson men were arrested Saturday following a predawn report of shots fired, police said. Matthew Robertson, 21, and Michael Robertson, 22, were stopped by police as they attempted to flee after shots were reported in the area of Tyson Drive and…

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Posted: June 7th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Crime, Fair Haven, Guns, Monmouth County | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on FAIR HAVEN: SHOTS FIRED, TWO ARRESTED

Real Jersey Guys On The Radio

By Art Gallagher

Yesterday there were four real Jersey guys on the radio from 5PM-6PM for what might have been the last LaRossa and Gallagher Radio Show on WIFIAM1460.

I’m not knocking THE Jersey Guys, Casey, Rossi and Bob Ingle on Fridays, formerly of 101.5 FM.  I enjoyed their show and listened to it whenever I was on the road in the afternoon.  My favorite all time show was Casey screaming, “YOU’RE LOSING VOTES RIGHT NOW” at gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie during the 2009 primary campaign while Christie was trying to finesse an answer to a particularly blunt question.

I think 101.5 was nuts to cancel the show that they themselves promoted as the most successful afternoon radio show in the country.  I doubt the petition to get the show back on the air will make any difference, but if you want to be part of it, you can do so here.

As good as the show was, my friend Tommy DeSeno is right.   As talented as they are, Casey, Rossi and Ingle are not really Jersey guys.  Casey’s from California, Rossi from Brooklyn and Ingle from Georgia.  They’re not Jersey guys like the four natives who were on the radio yesterday afternoon, my partner Senator Dick LaRossa born in Trenton on July 1 (Happy Birthday Dick!), Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre, and yours truly.

Straight Talk On The Pension and Health Care Reforms

While our show was not nearly as funny as THE Jersey Guys, it was the most informative and honest report of the pension and benefits reform package anywhere to date, if I do say so myself.

My hat is off to Declan O’Scanlon for coming back on the show for second week in a row knowing that I was not buying the hype of the “landmark” nature of the reforms and for answering our questions frankly. 

O’Scanlon is high on the impact the reforms are making compared to what would have happened if the status quo continued.  However, with only a little dancing, he did acknowledge that without significant economic growth, New Jersey will be in deep doo doo as the taxpayers increase their state pension contributions by $500 million each year over the next seven years.  That doesn’t include the municipal pension contributions that come from property taxes. 

Botton line…there is a very real possibility that the pension reforms in particular will lead to large tax increases on the state and local levels and/or draconian spending cuts.  O’Scanlon did not dispute that.  He argued things would be much worse had the administration and legislature done nothing.

During the second half hour Halfacre was upbeat about 1) the fact that the deal could have been done at all given the historical nature of things in Trenton, and 2) the savings Fair Haven taxpayers will realize from the health care end of the reforms.

The highlight of the show was Halfacre’s explanation of how he and the Fair Haven Council have been able to lower property taxes three years in a row and counting: 1) Saying no, 2) Pissing people off, 3) Standing firm when the pissed off people are yelling at you, 4) Doing all of that and getting reelected.

Here’s a recording of the show:

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Why was Tuesday’s show perhaps the last LaRossa and Gallagher Show?  Dick and I are thinking of changing the name of the show to The Jersey Guys or The Real Jersey Guys.    We’re hoping Millennium Radio will issue and cease and desist letter or maybe even sue us so we can get lots of free publicity and beat out Deminski and Doyle on Tuesday afternoons.

Posted: June 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, Fair Haven, LaRossa and Gallagher, Mike Halfacre, NJ Media, NJ State Legislature, Pensions | Tags: , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Notes On The Storm

By Mayor Mike Halfacre, Fair Haven
The storm of December 26-27 2010 was more than a significant weather event. Published reports have called it one of the top six snow storms in New Jersey history. Many veterans of the DPW in this and other towns do not recall conditions as severe as the ones encountered overnight on Sunday and into the early morning hours of Monday. The magnitude of the storm is illustrated by the fact that snowfall rates of 1 inch per hour are generally considered too heavy for plows to keep pace with, and this storm had periods of 4.5 inch per hour accumulations. Add in the strong, near hurricane force winds and the resulting snow drifts, and this storm will be recorded as one of our area’s worst.
In Fair Haven, our DPW had two men in sand trucks on the road by 11:30 am on Sunday. By 3:30 p.m. Sunday, 7 more employees were on the road plowing.  Fair Haven had 9 men, including two who came in from vacation, as well as the DPW Supervisor, operating up to 7 plows and 3 loaders through out the duration of the storm.   These were all of our resources. All continued to work until Monday evening, with the last crew and DPW Supervisor leaving at 10:30 p.m. Monday. At that time, late on Monday, almost all streets were open with at least one lane.
The sheer volume of snow required the DPW to remove snow with front-end loaders, slowing down the removal and making it a street-by-street process. This takes a long time, and was the reason most streets had only one lane open while the front end loaders, trucks and plows cleared one street at a time.
Our DPW regular schedule resumed at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday with continuation of snow removal.  By 10:00 a.m. 2 trucks were picking up trash, all of which was picked up by 5:00 p.m. Snow removal crews continued until 3:30 p.m.  A sand truck continued to operate, to hit the critical areas until dark.
On Wednesday recycling was picked up town wide and completed by 4:00 p.m. Snow removal crews continued throughout the day, with the sand truck again continuing until dark. Thursday saw continued snow removal, as well as an additional town-wide garbage pick-up.
There were no incidents or mechanical failures during this event. The most significant struggle was the snow plows repeatedly getting stuck on Sunday night.
I am very proud of our dedicated DPW employees, who worked in excess of 30 straight hours from Sunday afternoon until Monday night clearing the roads. The fact that there were no major incidents, injuries or accidents is a testament to their dedication. Further, three employees have voluntarily switched their scheduled day off on New Years Eve to Monday, so they could work to get the streets as clear as possible for when school to resumes on Monday. (I know it is a huge burden, but please make every effort to clear sidewalks in time for the walk to school on Monday)
I am also proud of and grateful to all of those who helped their neighbors; our volunteer fire and first aid squads who were repeatedly called out in terrible conditions; and our police employees who were on the road in the worst of the conditions.
Although we believe we performed admirably under the circumstances, there is always room for improvement. Therefore, we will be conducting a complete and thorough review of all of our processes and decisions, and will make adjustments where necessary, so our performance will be better during future events.
Thank you for your patience, and please have a Happy and Safe New Year!
Posted: December 31st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Fair Haven, Mike Halfacre | Tags: , | Comments Off on Notes On The Storm

Sometimes people just need something to fight about

By Art Gallagher

While municipalities and school boards throughout New Jersey are struggling with budget cuts and layoffs of teachers, police and other public workers, over in Rumson they’re fighting over whether the spring crew program will be administered by the Rumson Recreation Department or by Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, according to a post this morning at RedBankGreen.

People who participate in crew are very passionate about it.

Growing up in Bergenfield, we didn’t have a crew team.  Not one run by the Recreation Department or by the High School.  The nearest river was the Hackensack.  I guess it didn’t occur to anyone to row there.

At Georgetown I had some friends on the crew team.  My roommate would get up before dawn and run, so he told me, like really run hard, down to the Potomac where the team would row for a couple of hours and then run up and down the stairs from the Exorcist movie for a while.  I knew it was time to get up for my first class when I smelled him come back into our room and heard his groaning.

My girlfriend’s roommate was a coxswain.  She was less than five feet tall and weighed less than 100 lbs.  She got up before dawn too, did the running thing, and then sat on the back of the boat yelling at all of the guys through a bullhorn who did what she said.  She loved it. 

They all seemed very passionate about it. I didn’t get it, but I was happy for them.  But I digress.

Why would smart adults be having a turf war over the crew team?  That’s tougher for me to get my head around than trying to understand what my friends were so passionate about 35 years ago.

I don’t know the ins and outs of the issues is this controversy.  The RBG article indicates it has something to do with which government entity owns the equipment. Doesn’t it all belong to the taxpayers?  Ahh, but which taxpayers, Rumson’s or Fair Haven’s?  Muncipal or School Board?

I suppose this is an opportunity to teach the kids a lesson in politics and red tape.  Maybe they already mastered commitment, teamwork and the other character building lessons of scholastic athletics.

I never heard of an award winning Recreation Department sports team.  I never heard of a kid earning a college scholarship based upon his or her performance on a Recreation Department team.  But like I said, I’m not an expert on crew.  Maybe somone from Princeton or the Philadephia Main Line could clear it up for me.

In the meantime, I bet that if the powers that be in Rumson and Fair Haven focused on what is best for the kids that the politics and red tape could be solved quickly.  Wouldn’t that be a great lesson.

Posted: December 15th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Education, Fair Haven, Property Taxes, Rumson | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

Fair Haven Councilman Takes His Own Life

John Lehnert, a Fair Haven councilman and former police officer was found dead outside a Jackson home this morning from a self inflicted gunshot wound to the chest, according to a report in the Asbury Park Press.

Mike Halfacre and John Lehnert at the Tour De Fair Haven bicycle race on Sunday September 19. Photo credit: Visual Xpressions, Fair Haven.

Mike Halfacre and John Lehnert at the Tour De Fair Haven bicycle race on Sunday September 19. Photo credit: Visual Xpressions, Fair Haven.

Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre told MMM that the news came as a profound shock early this morning when he was informed of the tragedy by Fair Haven Police Chief  Darryl Breckinridge.

Halfacre said there were absolutely no signs of Lehnert being troubled or depressed.

Lehnert leaves behind his wife and two young daughters.   He recently graduated from law school, took the bar exam this summer and was expected to start practicing law soon.

Posted: September 21st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Fair Haven, Mike Halfacre | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »